The Angel of the North
January 30, 2002 1:01 AM   Subscribe

The Angel of the North inspires me somewhat more than the 'Giant Pizza Cross'. The engineering behind it is interesting, aesthetically I find it pleasing, and I don't think it rams religion down anyone's throat.
posted by Frasermoo (9 comments total)
There's a huge amount of regeneration going on in Tyneside.... The unique Millennium bridge, Music Centre, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts and the bid for European capital of culture. (As a Sunderland fan I won't mention football though....)
posted by brettski at 1:22 AM on January 30, 2002

I agree... Although actually, it reminds me more of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis than your typical angel.
posted by fujikosmurf at 1:26 AM on January 30, 2002

certainly more inspirational! could ann arbor twin with gateshead? then the respective councillors could argue about who had the better sculpture.
i like the way the angel tells the story of the local area (boat-building degenerating) and uses the skills and materials that made the area wealthy. it is also on the grand scale that ocean liners were and that high-lights the scale of the loss to the area with the decline of the shipwrights and loss of their skills. i think the 'full frontal' view of the wing(s) represents an abstract cross-section of a ship (fore to aft).
also it welcomes you to the north, with open arms, as you drive up the A1. perhaps more than the locals would (?)*ducks*.
good municipal art? maybe i am still dreaming.
posted by asok at 3:16 AM on January 30, 2002

I think it's a shame they torched the Angel of the South although it wasn't meant to be a permanent sculpture. I agree with asok that the Angel of the North does seem welcoming, also it appears to me to be very serene without it feeling exclusive to one religious set of beliefs.
posted by roobarb at 5:04 AM on January 30, 2002

One Gormley's other pieces, Quantum Cloud, is on the same kind of scale and just as impressive technically and artistically [that's one of my photos]. As you walk past the mesh of metal you appear to see a figure inside. Beautiful.

roobarb: I understand from some guys I met in Somerset that they're rebuilding the Angel of the South and are putting a moat around it this time. Which might help.
posted by mattw at 5:15 AM on January 30, 2002

I'm currently living in Newcastle and I drive past the Angel regularly. It's an impressive sight, if only for its enormous wingspan; there's not much else like it. I'm really pleased at the amount of regeneration taking place here, and this is one reason I want to stay in the area instead of moving down to London like many of my friends who are also in creative industries. BALTIC opens this year and there is a high level of anticipation about it. Unlike the Tate Modern, it will not house a permanent collection, instead, the work shown will constantly change and there will be a definite emphasis on digital technology. I hope BALTIC and other projects mentioned above will help to demonstrate that there is cool stuff happening outside of London.
posted by crayfish at 9:00 AM on January 30, 2002

I hope they make it with a thick crust, extra cheese, olives, capers and no anchovies.
posted by Spoon at 9:13 AM on January 30, 2002

It's an angel! It's Isis! No! It's...Condorman!
posted by straight at 9:33 AM on January 30, 2002

I have to say, I too love the Angel. Like many others at the time, I was a bit skeptical before it was built, but when it finally went up, it was majestic. I remember the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. :)

Now, along with the beautiful Millenium Bridge, it's just another reason I'm immensely proud of the North East. It's just a shame London takes the vast majority of tourist trade in the UK, as there's so much more to see. I really hope we get the capital of culture thing. But then, being a Newcastle fan, I would say that, wouldn't I brettski? ;)
posted by malross at 1:44 PM on January 30, 2002

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